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The 20 Best Places to Live in Australia


While some people are happy to live in their place of birth for the rest of their life, others want to explore living in new areas with different lifestyles and cultures. If your chosen destination is Australia, there are some amazing places to live that vary from remote, rural settings to pretty coastal towns and vibrant urban areas. Each will suit different people depending on their preferences. People also consider many factors when deciding which is the best place to live, such as safety, schools, leisure activity, housing, living costs, and the overall lifestyle an area offers. The following are considered the 20 best places to live in Australia.

20. Geelong

Geelong is a city in Victoria that has a population of around 177 thousand. It is one of the top manufacturing destinations in Australia, so many ex-pats move to this area for employment in the manufacturing industry. Employment opportunities include jobs in textiles, chemicals, clothing, timber, and food production. Compared to many other Australian cities, Geelong has a slower pace of life, which many people find appealing. Despite the slower pace of life, there are still plenty of things for people to enjoy in their leisure time, says Visit Victoria. These include spending time on the amazing beaches, visiting the local wineries, and lots of outdoor activities.

19. Rockingham

A small coastal city in Western Australia, Rockingham is known for its stunning coastline, and for the penguins and sea lions that inhabit the coast. The population is just over 125 thousand people, so the area has a community feel that is great for raising a family. It offers a quiet lifestyle but is still only a short commute to Perth, which gives residents access to all the job opportunities in the neighboring city. Therefore, residents can enjoy the best of both worlds. The area around Rockingham is developing a reputation as an up-and-coming wine region, and there are plenty of outdoor activities that residents can enjoy in their free time.

18. Mandurah

With just over 80 thousand residents, Mandurah is a tiny city located in Western Australia. However, the population is steadily increasing as there has been a boom in the construction industry that requires more workers to move to the city. IT is a fantastic place to live for those who work in Perth but prefer to live in a quieter area as the commute is under one hour. The city is surrounded by townships that are famous for their wineries and cafes.

17. Townsville

Townsville is an area in Queensland that offers both residents and tourists plenty of things to do, says Townsville North Queensland. There are natural wonders both in and around the city, and other popular activities include nature walks, diving, and sailing. Townsville has a growing and developing ex-pat community as there are plenty of jobs for people with skills. Currently, this city has a population of just over 180 thousand people.

16. Rockhampton

Its proximity to Queensland is one of the major reasons to consider living in Rockhampton. It is a cheaper option in terms of housing and the cost of living, but residents are in a commutable distance of all the job opportunities that Queensland has to offer. It will also suit people who want to live somewhere with a small-town feel and a strong sense of community, as this is a much smaller city with just over 80 thousand residents. There are some excellent schools in Rockhampton, which makes it a good place to live for families. It is also well-suited to those who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle as there are lots of things to explore, such as the Mount Archer National Park and Capricorn Caves.

15. Gosford

Sitting between Sydney and Newcastle in New South Wales is Gosford. This is a smaller city than its neighbors, with less than 163 thousand residents. The area is known for the Australian Reptile Park and the Brisbane Water National Parl. Expats choose this area because it is only a one-hour commute from Sydney. It is a nice place for families to live, and housing is affordable.

14. Newcastle

Newcastle is a popular choice for those who want to live close to Sydney but cannot afford the house prices and living costs. Originally, this was an industrial city with a focus on steel production. However, it has now flourished and is filled with boutique shops and outstanding restaurants. There are plenty of leisure activities to enjoy in this city, so it offers an excellent standard of living. Many residents say that it is a great place to raise a family.

13. Wollongong

Located in New South Wales, Wollongong is a large city with almost 300 thousand residents. It suits both those who want to live in a coastal location and those who enjoy the urban lifestyle. It is a popular place to live for families as there are good schools in this area. There are also many nice outdoor spaces in Wollongong, such as Governor Game Lookout and Stanwell Park Beach.

12. Cairns

Those who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle should consider living in Cairns or the surrounding area. This Queensland city is close to many of the natural wonders of Australia, such as the Atherton Tablelands, the Daintree rainforest, Cape Tribulation, and the Great Barrier Reef. The city is surrounded by the perfect natural playground for those who enjoy sports, nature, and adventure activities. However, residents do not need to go to the surrounding area to find things to do as there is a lot going on in the city. It has plenty of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and markets.

11. Alice Springs

One of the friendliest places to live in Australia is Alice Springs, says Big Seven Travel. This is a beautiful area and the locals take great pride in their area. This is a small city with a population of just 29,000, so it has a good community feel. Located in the Northern Territory, this is a fantastic place to live for people who have a background in environmental research as there are some unique working experiences.

10. Gold Coast

Located in Queensland, this coastal city is ideal for those who have dreamed of living along the stunning Australian Coast. According to Australian Sky, Gold Coast offers a fantastic lifestyle because of the beaches, the theme parks, the seaside markets, and the rainforests. Housing in this city is generally modern, and most people live in high-rise apartments. However, if you choose to live in the suburbs, there are larger properties with their own land available.

9. Byron Bay

This New South Wales city is smaller than many other cities with under 30 thousand residents. The city is popular with both ex-pats and retirees who want to live by the coast. Its coastal location also appeals to surf enthusiasts, both as a place to live and as a tourist destination. Life in this city is tranquil and there is a great community feel amongst its residents.

8. Perth

The amazing climate is one of the reasons people choose to relocate to Perth as this city has the most hours of sunshine per day anywhere in Australia, says Move Hub. It is also a fantastic place to live for people working in the tech industry, as the proximity to Asia means that the tech market is contributing to the fast-growing economy of the city. There are excellent schools that appeal to families, and the pristine beaches provide a range of leisure opportunities. The downside of this city is that it is relatively isolated, and it is a three-hour flight to the nearest city, Adelaide.

7. Darwin

Darwin is best-suited to those who want to live somewhere with a relaxed pace of life, says There is a combination of stunning natural scenery and well-planned urban areas sitting alongside each other. It offers a fantastic climate, a buzzing nightlife, plenty of job opportunities, and outstanding universities. The house prices are reasonable, although the cost of living is high.

6. Canberra

Although Canberra is the capital of Australia, it has a small-town feel as there are only 400,000 residents in this city. Another surprising feature is that the hosing is very affordable and there is lots of variety in terms of both the style and size of the properties available. There are plenty of things for residents to enjoy in their leisure time, such as the restaurant and bar scene, museums and galleries, Lake Burley Griffin, a range of cultural attractions, and events that are hosted throughout the year.

5. Adelaide

If a busy social life is a consideration when choosing where to live in Australia, then Adelaide is a location to consider. It is one of the best cities for food and drink, and it is also known for its live music and events throughout the year. This city also appeals to families who often live in the suburbs of the city. The job opportunities in Adelaide are good, with plenty of jobs in manufacturing, education, and healthcare. Despite the urban setting, Adelaide has a friendly country feel. This is partly due to the many open and leafy spaces. Another reason to consider Adelaide and the surrounding area is that the house prices are low compared to many other Australian cities.

4. Hobart

Hobart stands out from other Australian cities on this list as it is the capital of Tasmania, which is an island off the coast of Australia. Due to its small population of just over 225,000, so it has a tight-knit community feel. It is a picturesque place to live, with access to stunning beaches and with interesting architecture. It is a fantastic place to retire and relax as it has a very laid-back vibe. In terms of leisure and socializing, there are lots of museums relating to local history, says Visit a City and there are also some fantastic seafood restaurants.

3. Brisbane

The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a riverside city that is known for its art scene and its impressive science museum. It is also known for the many stunning outdoor spaces. Compared to Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane is a relatively small city with a population of just 2.4 million people. There are some excellent schools in this city, so it is a great option for families. There is also an abundance of employment opportunities, which is important for people who are relocating and starting a new life.

2. Melbourne

Melbourne particularly appeals to young professionals due to the vibrant nightlife, the many social opportunities, and the work opportunities. This city is also considered the foodie capital of Australia due to the diversity of the cuisine on offer and the fact that the city can boast some of the top restaurants in the country. It is not only young professionals who find this city appealing, as it can also make a great home for families thanks to the excellent schools in and around the city.

1. Sydney

According to Send Money Australia, one of the best places to live in Australia is Sydney, and it has the largest expat community in the country that proves this point. It is one of the most expensive places to live in Australia, but this is because it is such a desirable city that has so many good points. One of the reasons that people choose Sydney is because of the many employment opportunities in this city. Another reason is the diversity of the 5.29 million people who call this city home. The leisure opportunities are a further reason people choose this location, as it is home to some of Australia’s most important attractions and landmarks, and it is also close to the beach.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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